Before the new article starts we want to thank everyone who came to our first physical survival course in Croatia. The week was fantastic and we couldn’t have wished for better people who were eager to learn and get through the situations we set up.
Toby is also going to join us here on SHTF School and will contribute more articles and collaborate with Selco on articles like the one we post today.
Much more about the course, along with some video updates for our Survival Boot Camp Members in the coming weeks.
The ‘Perfect’ Location
I have been reading more and more lately, articles with the theme of having a ‘Perfect Bug In Location’, along with details on how to defend it, options and examples on booby traps, philosophy of defence and similar. It’s a facinating discussion with lot of interesting points, and it gave me the idea to share some thoughts of mine.
Shelter, Home, Your Place
Survival is a lot, if not all, about being (staying) safe, so one of the first thoughts that come to my mind is having a good shelter.
When people think about that, you could easily come to the conclusion that as good a shelter you have, then more chances you have to survive (or be comfortable etc).
Now, too an extent, there is nothing wrong this idea, BUT only to a point. Problems start when you get yourself stuck in the mode of thinking (and acting!) with the conclusion that your best option is to have big strong well secured and fortified shelter, and you decide that this equals ‘complete’ safety, or this is a solution that will get you through every problem.
So your focus becomes on buying a big stronghold somewhere with big walls, alarms, weapons and everything else. To the extent, all your time, effort and energy is spent in this regard.
There is nothing wrong with this as a concept, but, if you do not consider some other things you may find yourself very unpleasantly surprised sooner or later.
Being and staying safe is actually having more then one option. Let me reiterate that. Greater safety comes from having options.
So for example, if you have your perfectly organised and defended home in a town, it is good, very good. Even better, is having some temporary shelter close to your home in case you need to leave or evacuate your home at short notice.
Being and staying safe is about having more options for the same problems, and survival is not about dying while defending your shelter, it is about finding another and surviving.
Whenever someone shows me good home plans in terms of defending and survival I feel happy for them, but my next question (or thought) is always, where are your exits? Where are you planning to go to for cover (or shelter) in a case when you have to leave, either temporarily or forever?
As always, the real problem, in my opinion, is that there is gonna be whole bunch of survivalists that are going to die just because they did not consider options that they are gonna be forced to leave there ‘perfect’ home, and so will (needlessly) die, staying and defending it.
It is scary thought. That you may be forced to leave your perfect survival location, that you spent so long, for years maybe, building, equiping and preparing.
When I hear words ‘perfect’ shelter, or ‘perfect’ hiding location, my first thought is of a temporary shelter inside ruin, or in woods, because this is the most likely and most suitable for a large variety of circumstances. I’m not saying this is always the case, but things happen this way more often than people realise, and if you research any number of disaster and catastrophies you will see this evidenced time and time again…
Of course, you all know, I have my location where I plan to be when SHTF, but it is MY plan. Circumstances very often do not allow plans to be conducted, so maybe only after three days I’ll have only trash bag as my BOL or bug in place, but I’ll be alive. Again to reiterate, have a plan, but have options and alternatives to your plan.
Defending Your Shelter
In the same articles that I have read, there is various advice on how to kill someone while you’re defending your shelter, which is good, because you will need this type of mindset and methodology.
But again, the problem is that you may conclude that by killing others you will solve all your problems. In reality, you may find yourself surprised because sometimes you will get yourself killed to, in that same way.
And that is not survival.
When it comes to having safe shelter, and for this example we are talking about one night temporary urban shelter, but it applies longer term as well , you have to think in layers.
There will be times and situations where you will have to deal with a threat in the most immeadiate, definitive and drastic way, but more often than not you need to think about defence in some kind of layers and these layers are designed to ‘buy time’.
Safe shelter means it is safe for you. In urban settings, that usually equals that you are hidden and sheltered from other people first, so solution to the problem is not to kill them in the first place. It is about staying hidden and therefore safe.
So first layer should be that YOU alone are choosing that shelter, no one else will take that same shelter, so you will not have need to „terminate“ anyone.
So choose a place that no one else will choose it (while you are using it).
Use your knowledge and skills (and some imagination too). It maybe simply selecting a place that everybody else see as very dangerous. We have mention before using signs saying ‘mines’ or ‘sniper’ to scare people, or an area with a bad stench and similar things.
Remember that in SHTF situation people usually go for easy places, for places that need less effort. If you make it look not interesting and very hard for other folks you already did half of the job.
Second layer could be that you need an alarm or warning signal if someone is approaching, so you have time to react, the time is spent making the decision that you will decide is it worth to use deadly force, create a distraction or you will simply run away to the other side (yeah it make sense to know all exits from your temporary shelter)
Your last layer could be booby traps. And think here, why you want to use these? You want to kill, maim or scare someone? You want to take their stuff? Or you simply love to build booby traps? Now booby traps is a BIG issue on it’s own, so I will write more about this later, but while they may be simple in design, we need to think a lot about why and how we are using them.
Understand, each definitive action during SHTF could draw high risk to you too, so choose your actions very carefully.
Of course that there will be times when you will have to make high risk decisions, actually very often, but it is matter of judgment based on the situation. However the more options you give yourself the more decisions you will have available.
Remember, the adage ‘live too fight another day’ should be far more prominent in your mind as a strategy than the ‘over my dead body’ or you’ll get my stuff when you pry it ‘from my cold, dead fingers’ which is often touted as a ‘solution’ by folks with little experience in the realities of violence.
AVOIDING conflict is one of the best survival strategies we can have. Having options if we get to a conflict is the next stage. Building defensive layers to ‘buy time’ and help make decisions is a far more ‘greater’ solution than just trying to build and stockpile a fortress.
If you plan to ‘shelter in place’, have you given yourself alternate options and escape strategies? Let me know in the comments below, how you plan to deal with someone trying to gain access to your location?